Today’s strip finds Phil having skipped the bargaining phase of grief over his firing… moving right on to depression, acceptance, and Jim Boeheim impersonation.
Producer Jan Murdoch Darling’s sympathy for Phil is an awfully kind gesture on her part, considering that he once pulled a gun on her late husband. Frankly, I find it somewhat difficult to sympathize with Phil when he’s sharing a panel with Jan. Yes, his 40+ year career is coming to an end and not by his choice. Too bad. Meanwhile, Jan:
– grew up with an awful, abusive mother, one of the comics page’s most vile characters
– sees her only child visit on rare occasions, and never to actually see her
– has fallen from producing The “Today” Show to once again slumming it at the dying Channel One
– oh yeah… and famously saw her husband murdered right in front of her
But sure, we’ll shed some crocodile tears for you too Phil.
12 responses to “Poor Poor Piti-Phil Me”
Man the Batiukiverse is a twisted place. Three comic strips complete with their own sub-universes and dozens and dozens of characters, all somehow connected to one another, all with complicated back stories and histories of their own. Yet in spite of all that detail and depth, it’s always staggeringly boring and pointless.
Like with this arc. He’s referencing THREE of his own comic strips here, which just totally boggles the mind as it is, yet ultimately it’s just another old coot complaining about being old. If he had Phil the weatherman take Jan Murdoch out on a date to see “Starbuck Jones” at the Valentine the Batiukverse would totally implode upon itself. Then he’d do a Sunday Batom Comics cover featuring “The Imploder” with a little “reality bubble” showing Phil saying “man, three comic strips is a lot for a guy with so few ideas”.
I’m still trying to figure out if Burchett’s “dumbing down” his comics drawing chops so as to not outshine Batiuk, but his work on FW to date has been underwhelming. His characters morph from panel to panel even more than TB’s, and he’s aged Jan Darling by fifteen years at least. And what is with her yellow-gray hair? Her head looks like the Westview janitor’s mop after that time Les hid from Bull in the closet.
I gotta admit it’s been puzzling me too! Maybe he followed TB’s use of a Wacom tablet instead of pen-and-ink, and like TB (and several others) it’s making him looser and frankly sloppier.
Phil didn’t see this coming because he’s a terrible forecaster! Get it? Ha ha, it’s call back to the running joke from all those years in John Darling!
Wait, no it isn’t. The punchline is some irrelevant remark about… drones? Drones replacing helicopters? Wait, Weather Chopper One? The station had a helicopter devoted to covering weather? Isn’t weather usually covered by radars, rain gauges, and barometers while news helicopters are for shooting footage of 4 alarm fires and traffic congestion? How would a helicopter cover everyday weather events? Would it fly into a rainstorm to prove to viewers that it was, in fact, raining?
Gahhh, why did I start thinking about this?
I was about to make a joke about replacing something expensive, unpredictable, and liable to breakdown and kill people, with a cheap safe efficient alternative. But then my brain ALSO got caught on Weather Chopper One, and I’ve been sitting in confusion, picturing a Helicopter flying through a snownado, ever since.
A drone that can predict/measure/analyze the weather would have to fly up above the clouds, right? Pretty sure buying one wouldn’t be a cost saving measure.
Batiuk would rather not tell a sensible gag about having Weather Copter One becoming Car Chase Copter One because that would take away from his whining about the old and comically unreliable being replaced by the new and better. Also, Jan’s suffering was brought on herself because she disrespected Jffffff’s right to eat cookies and drink milk and read Starsucks Jones unopposed by the evil maternal concerns about ‘making something of himself’, ‘growing up’ and ‘getting his head ouf of his ass’ that Batiuk’s been rebelling against since the Eisenhower administration.
If Phil did say something about not seeing this forecast, the strip would have to end with him smirking wryly. I’d rather have a non-joke about drones.
In Crankshaft news. Cranky ALSO hates ‘The Last Leaf,’ hates it so much it keeps him up at night. He’s never seemed so relatable.
What is this man Batiuk’s obsession with the last leaf on a tree? Does anyone else anywhere really care?
It just occurred to me he may be trying to channel O. Henry, but I doubt he’s that clever.
Heck, he’s not even channeling Oh Henry! the candy bar.